Kayne paced. He’d been doing it for so long, he half expected a worn tread to appear in the rough wood floor under his boots.
Upstairs, Emmalina let out a pained yell.
He wanted to be up there with her, but Jason and his mother, who had reluctantly agreed to help with the delivery, had kicked him out hours ago. Probably because he’d been snarling and yelling at them to help her. Knowing that they were doing their best hadn’t calmed him then and it didn’t now.
The house was quiet except for the moaning and agonized yelling coming from his and Emmalina’s bedroom. The triplets had tried to keep him company for a while, but, every time they’d tried to talk to him, he’d bitten their heads off. One by one, they’d all found other things to occupy themselves. Baz at the punching bag, Myrcella reading in her room. Quinn was still downstairs, but Kayne was fine letting him stay as long as he just kept quietly studying his chess game.
He blanched as a particularly harsh scream echoed through the house. The silence that followed made his blood run cold. He was just about to charge up the stairs when his mother appeared at the top.
“Emmalina? The baby?” There was an urgency that hedged towards fear in his voice, but he didn’t even care.
Shannyn looked very tired. “They’re fine. I promise, they’re fine. You can go on up.”
As he headed for the stairs, though, she caught his arm. “Kayne…” She looked up at him, her expression completely open. “I’m sorry.”
He went still, frowning at her. “Well. You should be. You’ve been a raging cunt.”
She snorted quietly. “I know. Listen, Kayne, you have to understand something. Everything I’ve ever done, it’s been to protect you. I thought this girl – there was no way she would accept you as you are. And…I didn’t want you to love someone like her, someone weak.” She held up her hand to keep him from interrupting. “Emmalina and I had a lot of opportunity to talk today. She really loves you.”
Pain flickered in her eyes for a moment. “I guess what I want to say is – she’s family now. She’s my family now.”
Kayne’s throat got tight. He knew what she was trying to say. She accepted that he and Emmalina were together, but, more importantly, Shannyn had embraced her as part of their family. His mother would do anything to protect her family.
He hugged his mother tightly enough to make her bones creak. “Thank you, Mom.”
She gave him a squeeze before stepping back. “Yeah, yeah. Now get upstairs,” she said gruffly.
Kayne didn’t need to be told twice. He took the stairs two at a time, bounding up them and dashing down the hall. When he came to the door, though, he proceeded carefully, opening the door quietly.
On the bed, he saw Emmalina, still and covered in blankets. Is she…?
“She’s fine,” Jason whispered, reassuring him. “Just resting.” He smiled broadly. “Would you like to meet your daughter?”
His head felt like it was swimming as he stepped over to the one occupied bassinet. Nestled inside was the tiniest, most beautiful thing he’d ever seen.
As carefully as he could, Kayne lifted his daughter up into his arms and held her against his chest. She was so tiny, so fragile. And so fucking perfect it made his chest hurt. He hadn’t been so sure about this whole father thing, but now – Jesus fuck, he’d never known he could love another person as much as he loved this little baby.
“Hello, Catalina,” he whispered thickly. It was the girl name he and Emmalina had decided on, and, looking at his daughter, he knew it was perfect. “I’m your daddy.”